Goodbye heavy flight bags as more commercial pilots start to use iPads

Lately, there have been a growing number of news reports that commercial pilots are increasingly replacing their flight bags with the much lighter iPads. Specifically and back in June, Terry Maxon reported on the Dallas Morning News’ Airline Biz Blog that American Airlines’ pilots had begun a test on two trans-Pacific flights in which they would keep all of their charts and other documents on iPads. The test would last for 6 months on American’s flights from Los Angeles to Shanghai and Tokyo Narita.

iPadTerry also noted that Alaska Airlines had announced back in May that it would distribute iPads to all of its pilots by mid-June and the iPads would contain all of the pilots’ flight manuals. Alaska Airlines was also looking at putting its navigational charts on the devices as well.

Meaning, the “Wings Stayed On!” blog has pointed out that Alaska Airlines’ two initiatives, dubbed “Bye, Bye, Flight Bag,” is also environmentally friendly as they will save 2.4 million pieces of paper.

However, I have just one question: What happens if a commercial pilot forgets to recharge his iPad?!!

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4 Responses to Goodbye heavy flight bags as more commercial pilots start to use iPads

  1. Carl Valeri July 12, 2011 at 11:01 #

    Since there is a backup for everything in an airliner I think we are a long way from excluding printed charts from the flight deck, even if both pilots have an Ipad. Most carriers still require a printed copy of charts to be carried in the flight deck as a back up for the electronic flight bag such as the Ipad.

    Therefore , when both pilots Ipad’s fail all they need to do is pull out the backup printed copy. Personally, I always keep a copy of my printed charts in my small airplane in case my Ipad fails.

  2. Micah July 12, 2011 at 14:00 #

    Is there no AC plug on the flight deck? Surely these can be installed fairly easily if not.

  3. Ted July 12, 2011 at 18:30 #

    So does that mean they have to be switched off for take-off and landing?

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